A young sheriff and a hardened killer form an uneasy and complicated bond in this mesmerizing first novel set on the plains of Montana.
Steeped in a lonesome Montana landscape as unyielding and rawas it is beautiful, Kim Zupan's ThePloughmen is a new classic in the literature of the American West.
At the center of this searing fever-dream of a novel are two men - a killer awaiting trial and a troubled young deputy - sitting across fromeach other in the dark, talking through the bars of a county jail cell: JohnGload, so brutally adept at his craft that only now, at the age of 77, has he faced the prospect of long-term incarceration; and Valentine Millimaki, low man in the Copper County sheriff's department, who draws the overnight shift after Gload's arrest. With a disintegrating marriage further collapsing under the strain of his night duty, Millimaki finds himself seeking counsel from a man whose troubled past shares something essential with his own. Their uneasy friendship takes a startling turn with a brazen act of violence that yokes together the two haunted souls by the secrets they share - and by the rugged country that keeps them.
©2014 Kim Zupan (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
At first I was bothered by Meskimen's almost stubborn, it seemed in my mind, lack of expression and refusal to acknowledge the writing style, but by the end of the book it was all so clear. His performance was brilliant. He read the narrative in the skin of the main character, Val, and hence his read seemed at odds with the sometimes flowery writing in the same way that Val seemed at odds and isolated, detached from the world around him. One of the most amazing audiobook performances I've ever heard.
The Ploughmen started off a little slow for me I had a hard time relating to the characters at the beginning. But, by the time I neared the end of the the book I wanted to take my time a savor the story while at the same time I was anxious to know how it ended. A very well written and descriptive book
There is an effective, simple, emotional story buried under the dense literary descriptions and obscure vocabulary. I loved the narration by Jim Meskimen, he brought the dialogue and characters to life. I wouldn't have been able to wade through the deluge of words without his wonderful reading.
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